The main ingredients are garlic and bitter gourd, both well known for their medicinal values.
Garlic is said to be helpful in managing high cholesterol levels and to have lingering antibiotic properties. According to tradition it is a ‘wonder drug’ and is widely used in herbal formulations. It is also a healthy antioxidant.
Some consider that three separate ingredients in bitter gourds have blood sugar lowering properties and therefore, are beneficial to patients suffering from diabetes mellitus. There is also a view that two proteins in bitter gourd may inhibit AIDS virus. This vegetable may also be helpful in treating psoriasis. Bitter gourd is said to have digestive properties as well.
Both garlic and bitter gourd are believed to be excellent for common cold.
The recipe given here has been handed down the generations. It has never been tested scientifically for medical benefits, or side effects. But we love it – as a spread on bread, with Indian roties, with South Indian breakfast foods like appams, dosa etc, and rice.
Bitter gourd – garlic paste recipe:
1. Bitter gourd (seed removed) 1kg
Garlic 250 grams
Green chilli 3
Ginger 1” piece
2. Red chilli powder 1 tsp
Turmeric powder a little
Tamarind paste or juice 2 tbsp
3. Cooking oil (we use coconut oil) 1 tbsp
1. Chop up group 1 and boil without too much water, and grind to a paste in a mixie.
2. Blend group 2 well with the paste.
3. Cook the paste on low flame stirring till the required consistency is attained.
4. Add group 3 oil, stir well and take off.
5. Keep refrigerated.
This is an indicative recipe. You can adjust the quantities of ingredients according to requirement/ taste. For instance, if the gourd is too bitter, tamarind can be increased to stabilize the taste.